RE: Measles -- vacinate old people?
How do YOU know if you have the flu or not? Are you trained to spot it? Do YOU have the knowledge to determine if someone has the flu just by looking at them? We are trained to see things, we spend YEARS learning how to tell if someone is sick what they might be sick from and the labs for determining flu are so simple I can do it in my office in a portable machine, as most GPs have in their practice - they don't have to be sent out any more for analysis. Those days are past. For that matter, how do you know you have not had the flu ever? did you never fall sick a day in your life? Have something that resembled a clod but felt a bit worse? Boy, if you haven't ever been sick a day in your life, well, bravo, fella! But you are still talking through your hat. I see cases of real, honest to god influenza every year pass through my wards, and I am not even an immunologist! Every year old people die from it.
You proceed from the idea that just because you have never encountered it it doesn't exist. If you have never encountered a Tamil, I guess they don't exist either, nor do tigers. All those photos are just for show.
And yes, you should get vaccinated so you don't infect other people, but also because you should not get sick yourself. And yes, IF!!!!!! You are gambling here, but unlike flood insurance, you are not only gambling with your own life, but with the lives of others, too. Good luck with that.
And yes, doctors get it wrong, but when it comes to medical matters, non-doctors get it wrong far more often and to a far greater degree. Reading a bit on a web site does not qualify you to pass medical judgements that may affect other people, even when you read it on the CDC's web site. For one thing, you may imperfectly understand what is being said there or simply cherry-pick the fact you want. For instance, one thing you didn't understand is what the CDC said about the samples they get. Do you honestly think every sample in the US is sent to the CDC for testing? Almost no samples are, unless there is something there that is unknown to the local labs that looks like it MAY be influenza of an unknown strain and should be reported for whatever reason. Most times, it is either a known strain or something other than influenza. And that is only after hospital labs have had a go at it and still could not figure it out and bowed to the rules about such things. So, the CDC sees very few samples in the scheme of things. What you miss in all that is the yearly hunt for new strains of the virus, not the already identified strains which any lab can figure out pretty easily. You did not understand the context of the information, because you don't have the background and perhaps the web site did not give you enough information to understand that aspect. Instead you just cherry picked a bit and ran with it. Doctors DO know better in that regard.
The original poster wanted to know if it was necessary to get re-vaccinated for the protection to be continued, and the answer is yes, the original measles vaccination loses its efficacy after you turn 50 or so. You don't have to get re-vaccinated if you don't want to, but you should know that the protection from the childhood vaccination is likely no longer effective. What you do with it is your look-out. What I think of what you do with it is mine, and I have expressed mine, because I see the one who get sick (although I don't have a strong opinion on measles re-vaccination, but I do on flu and other more commonly virulent infectious diseases). Healthy people don't see doctors (which is sometimes a bit depressing, because I would love to see healthy people from time to time). Sick people do. I see what happens when you don't vaccinate, you most likely don't, since you you aren't going to see sick people out on the street all the time.
So, yes, people who say don't get vaccinated, it is a scam or bad for you or a plot or whatever are full of crap. Plain and simple. Sure,we make our living out of sick people, but we would rather not, if it is all the same to you. Frankly, sick people always make me feel icky - probably why I went into surgery rather than internal medicine. I'm a germophobe. And yes, we push pills if it helps, and some buggers do even when it doesn't help, but they are far rarer than you think, thank Galen.
I cannot speak for US statistics, but here, when we say someone has the flu, they do. And yes, we do take blood, but as I said, the labs are easy to do in every GP's surgery. Nice machine, looks like a big grey humidifier with an input for the blood and a printout on the side for the results. Takes ten minutes or less. Those without a machine can do a quick and dirty check in a few minutes with a microscope and some dyes - we are looking for certain factors, not for the virus itself - it can be inferred from other factors just as easily. And the reason we might not bother to even do a lab is because if you have fever, runny nose, sore throat, muscle pains, headache, coughing, and are feeling tired then the chances you have the flu are relatively high, so if there is no lab in house, it might not be worth confirming if the symptoms line up and are clear enough. Outside of antivirals, no medication effective, and even antivirals are only effective if administered early in the infection (although for at-risk patients we will try at any phase, since it can be life-threatening for certain types and we will do whatever we can to keep them from further harm), and if your doctor says you have the flu and pushes anti-biotics on you, say no, because they don't do anything. Influenza is a virus. Take aspirin or paracetamol, drink plenty of fluid and go to bed. So why vaccinate, especially if you are older? Simple - flu causes three to five million cases of severe illness and about 250,000 to 500,000 deaths worldwide each year. Plain and simple. You could be one of them. Or you could kill someone else, but I suppose you could care less about that, because if someone gets sick, how is it your problem, even if you were the carrier? After all, you know better, don't you?
(This post was last modified: 05-15-2015 08:31 PM by DocWils.)